Vista Myths Busted Part II: Vista Compatibility List Shows Few problems

With the launch of Windows Vista came claims of major compatibility issues with standard software. These claims were largely unsubstantiated but nevertheless caught foothold and were used as a strong argument against upgrading. have been keeping a running tab on compatibility issues with Windows Vista since it’s first Beta release and have a comprehensive list of what programs work, what programs have problems and what programs don’t work under the new operating system.

More on their findings and a few surprises inside.

Not surprisingly most (if not all) major software applications that work with Windows XP work equally well with Windows Vista. The programs that do have problems are mostly lesser known applications and specialized systems that the everyday user would not use anyway. There are also issues with a number of lesser known games.

Anti-Virus and firewalls

Vista touts a stronger firewall and security system than Windows XP and synchronous with the launch of the operating system came the launch of Microsoft’s new security suite OneCare which contains spyware, anti-virus and enhanced firewall protection. As a result many firewalls and anti-virus programs do not work under Vista – most notably F-Secure 2007, AVG Anti-Virus Suite and Zone Labs Zone Alarm suites. One can argue that the malfunctioning firewalls are a minor problem as the built in firewall in Vista is said to be as solid as they get but there should still be the option of installing a 3rd party firewall if the user so wishes. The “loss” of AVG’s Anti-Virus suite is more alarming as it is one of the only free high-quality anti-virus packages available today. Norton Anti-Virus and Norton Internet Security along with most other well known virus software have no problems.

Ahead’s Nero Burning ROM software already had problems with XP Service Pack 2 and these problems seem to have compounded with Vista. The site states that Nero “causes Explorer crashes when viewing directories that have video files in them, as well as file copy/move operations” and recommends using Nero only if you use a Virtual Machine version of XP within Vista – in other words don’t bother.

Other incompatibilities

Most worrisome is the incompatibility with a number of established software suites – mostly due to hardware driver issues. Steinberg’s Cubase and Nuendo suites, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X and XI and Adobe Encore DVD 2.0 don’t work at all. Neither does Pinnacle Studio 9.4 and 10 but Vista upgrades for these will be available in March.

Even with the problems mentioned above the overall list shows that software incompatibility is a relatively minor problem with Windows Vista and should not be much of a factor when deciding whether to upgrade. And as Vista takes over as the new standard we can expect that most if not all of these problems (maybe with the exception of Nero which still has problems with XP!) will be fixed. If you are still worried take a look at the ever growing list of tested programs and see if your software is on the “working” or “not working” list.

Windows Vista RTM Software Compatibility List (

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